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Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:23 pm
Whilst reviewing our driving policy and developing a handbook I've learned much, had my eyes opened to how much we don't do when we should, and picked up plenty of new ideas.
One I am considering is a refresher driving course for occasional drivers.
We have pool cars, many people use them, I use one for a few hours once a week, but its one of a selection, whatever's free when I need it. If it was a FLT I'd insist on a refresher every 3 years.
Three, Two, One.... Go
Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:28 pm
Interesting Si. I for one will look forward to the replies on this one.
Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:01 pm
Apply a bit of practical sense. At the moment, do ALL drivers of Co vehicles have to have some form of on the road assessment? We’re assuming licence, eyesight, medical checks and such like are being done.
If I suggested every 3 years for everyone ( sooner if accident or points)- is that practical and achievable? Is it necessary / appropriate for the short distance drivers?
Depending on what is involved, I might look at 3yrs high mileage and 5yrs otherwise. But make the assessment suit your needs. Does a 45 min drive around the block really provide a picture or is it just a tick the box?
Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:18 pm
A refresher in what? Passing a driving test?
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:38 am
Rather than a refresher, we sent our high mileage drivers on a defensive driving course. Seemed to bring the vehicle incidents down a lot
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:34 pm
all that we ask for is a copy of the driving licence checks completed annually for all drivers that carry out task within workplace transport.
provision of suitable medical assessment ( on what basis is specified within our policy) for those that drive all types of workplace transport.
PPM schedule in place for all workplace transport.
Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:48 pm
Opinions from both ends there..
I find a natural reluctance to take a test we all think we're experts at, driving.
but yes I agree, is it practical in all cases, no. But we must find a happy medium.
I will continue to evaluate our own situation here, but I doubt I will get further than something similar to a tool box talk to highlight new risks like smart motorways, mobile phones and sat navs
on a side note, while grabbing sample driving policies from the net, one stated that any excess on the insurance following an accident would be paid by the driver/employee, is this normal?
Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:08 pm
Well lets cut to the chase here....
You last comment was
Siblo wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:48 pm
I find a natural reluctance to take a test we all think we're experts at, driving.
The government, via the DSA, sets the national standard for passing a Driving Test, including the various classes of license.
Who are you to subject drivers to an additional and periodic 'Test' ?
As an employer, the onus is on you to set a certain standard of safe behaviour, but it's not on you to act as a monitor/enforcer of driving skill/ability as such. By all means if you get a significantly different vehicle style, that falls within the car licence category, then get people to have a familiarisation drive with someone who knows the vehicle, but aside from that....
You said 'refresher driving course for occasional drivers' but what duration, 30 minutes, or perhaps 2 days? Is that occasional drivers of your company vehicles, irrespective of whether they have a 2 hour dive to/from work every day?
I think this a very slippery slope into creating an extensive bureaucracy of trivia for no reason; I'm reminded of the recent comments of Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton, about a Sgt who wrote a 30+page 'policy' on police officers using pedal cycles.... https://twitter.com/i/status/1039091301788966912
If you're that concerned about vehicle safety, get all the vehicles fitted with black boxes; it works for other large fleet operators, such as home deliveries from supermarkets. I know Tesco saw a massive drop in their accidents after introducing them (read it in a magazine article a few years ago) and a client of mine has fitted them to all their works vans with similar results.
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:36 am
I think, handled correctly, this could actually be a good thing.
How about having a 'Safe driving week', where you raise the topic and discuss issues? You could even utilise some driving theory practice questions and the free online hazard perception tests to introduce a bit of competition – many of the people who passed their tests decades ago will never have done one!
If you do do this, just take a lot of care to avoid it coming across as 'you are not good drivers, you need more training' because almost everyone believes that they are good drivers and it will just get their backs up before you even start.
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:50 pm
I totally agree with Bernicarey here.
If they have a clean driving license then dont try and add extra tests etc. A checklist may be used but like an MOT test - it is only valid at the time of inspection and the law will agree with that.
I agree that a policy statement is required for driving at work - and risk assessment. But it needs to be "reasonably practicable".
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:06 pm
Ok, I've been watching responses for a while now. And I think we're all on the same page, maybe just in different places.
My intention was never to suggest a repeat driving test, something more like a driver awareness course, (like the speeding one) but not as intense.
Problems arise when someone is put in a vehicle they are not familiar with, I recently got a replacement car after an accident and all the cruise control, collision avoidance, and auto breaking freaked me out. This was a personal vehicle, not work, so I took time out to get used to it, in a work situation that is not always possible, when it should be.
2 of the cars we pool have sat nav, but I have no idea how they work.
Who knows what to do if you break down on a smart motorway with no hard shoulder, most don't, do people know you shouldn't use a mobile to phone for help, but to use one on a post so they know where you are???
Do staff know what to do if they are followed or the target of road rage?
These are the situations I felt we needed guidance on, plus many more obviously. How to change a wheel, or not if you follow official guidance.
My son recently bought a vw polo, (new driver) they wouldn't let him leave until they had shown him every single control, they would have been liable if they hadn't taken the correct steps to ensure he was familiar with the machine they were handing over.
I need to put things in place... We all should..
Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:36 am
Hi Siblo, we know that few 'accidents' have a single cause but an accumulation of events coming together. So following on from your initial situation, how about this scenario to help deciding if an occasional company employee ought to have some form of driving assessment in addition to simply having their licence checked against the DVLA database and an eyesight check.
"I have worked in the company office for a coupe of years, I have held a full FVLA driving licence for 12 years but use public transport as I an to a confident driver. I have brought my first car 3 months ago, a 15 year old 900 cc petrol Fiat 2 door with a manual gearbox to use at weekends.
As per your situation, I am asked to go to a meeting or do a small task for the company and told I must use one of the pool cars and given a set of keys and told its in the car park and they will see me when I return. Can't be too difficult otherwise I would have been given training and some sort of manual!
Wow, so exciting, its a shiny new FORD Mondeo estate 2.0 litre with an auto gearbox. I've never driven an auto before, but I'm sure I'll learn - just push the lever back and forward. Luckily it's parked nose out so I manage to get it started and drive out forwards - phew, I am terrible at reversing even my small car. I've set my mobile to mute to avoid distractions. The Satnav is still operational from the previous user and gives me directions to a place unknown. As I approach a busy roundabout, the Satnav tells me to turn right but I know I should turn left. Oh no, its stalled when I came to a stop and I'm worried about pulling out and stalling the auto again. Yay, as I take my foot off the brake, it starts again - I've just found the stop-start facility. And suddenly my phone, which has linked to the car's handsfree starts to ring. In all the confusion, I make the wrong turn ending up on the motorway.
I decide to go to the next junction and come back again, being careful to stick to 70mph. I manage to get to my appointment but in trying to park, I do scrub the alloy rims against the kerbs a couple of times - oh well, I wasn't going too fast and its just a pool car.
I'm dreading the return journey in this big, car and wonder what all the buttons and gadgets do. Being the good driver, even though its still nearly full of fuel and no one has told me the refuelling process, I do the right thing and go to the petrol station next to our company office to put into just £10 of petrol to top it up. Small problem, as I cannot adjust the seat, I can barely reach the pedals without sitting on the edge of the seat, and whilst manoeuvring my foot slips on the pedal and I grind the front valance on the pump's upstand.
Fortunately I reach the car park just as the engine starts to sound a bit rough and splutter. I decide to reverse the car into the small space and only catch the wing mirror a bit against the car parked next to me. The engine stops just as I finish shuffling backwards and forwards to park. As I walk back to the office I realise there is a yellow rimmed wheel on the rear nearside with "Max 50mph " on the side.
I walk into the office to explain my journey, but before I can say anything I am whisked off to an urgent presentation required under PUWER on how to safely operate the new printer / binder machine provided by the company and being installed in the office. I simply put the keys back on the boss's desk and carry on. At some stage I must ask what some of all those buttons and gadgets do.
That journey really kicked my confidence even further. I have no idea how many miles I did in that monster machine used by the company and I now dread the idea of driving even my own car."
Yes I have a DVLA licence and had an eyesight check. I wonder how the company would justify doing an DSE assessment before I can use my computer in the safe confines of the office and yet allow me to perform one of the most hazardous working activities, being exposed to possible criminal prosecutions and doing so without so much as a check drive and familiarisation of the vehicles I'm expected to use?